Methods to Beat ABSD and Own Multiple Properties in 2022 (Updated)

ABSD Singapore
Are there really methods to save on ABSD in Singapore?

The Additional Buyers Stamp Duty (ABSD) is the bogeyman facing property investors.

Even if you can afford to pay it, the hefty stamp duty gobbles up a huge chunk of your eventual returns.

But is there a “loophole“ or a way around it?

Here are some legal ways to save on ABSD and get started on owning your second or subsequent property:

First, a quick update of the ABSD changes as of 16 Dec 2021 in Singapore to jolt your memory.

ABSD Singapore
Singaporeans and PRs ought to take full advantage to own properties without the full brunt of ABSD. It's our privilege!

Source: Inland Revenue Authority of Singapore

The ABSD is a tax applied to residential property purchases in Singapore on top of the standard Buyer Stamp Duty (Currently 3-4% of property price).

Both BSD and ABSD are based on a percentage of your property price or valuation, whichever is higher.

Singapore citizens pay 0 cent on their first property, ABSD of 17 per cent on their second property, and 25 per cent on the third or subsequent property purchase.

Singapore Permanent Residents pay ABSD of 5 per cent on their first property purchase, 25% per cent on their 2nd property and 30% on all subsequent purchases.

Foreigners* pay 30 per cent ABSD on all property purchases.

Entities pay 35 per cent ABSD on all property purchases (This is relevant if you intend to buy the property through your company. Although this is seldom the preferred approach these days.).

*United States citizens pay the same ABSD rates as Singapore citizens; citizens and Permanent Residents of Iceland, Lichtenstein, Norway, and Switzerland can apply for ABSD remission. This is under FTAs that are in effect at the time of writing. Foreigners should check with their respective authorities on whether their home country’s taxes will also apply on top of the ABSD.

How do you save on ABSD and own multiple properties then?

ABSD Singapore

There are only a few ways to legally save on ABSD:

1. Buying under only 1 owner for a property so that the spouse can buy another under their own name

2. Decoupling an owner from a current property to free up one name

3. "Unofficially" buying under a child more than 21 years old

4. Buying Under A Property Trust under a child below 21 years old

Or as a “left field” alternative, you can consider investing in commercial & international real estate instead (more on this below)

1. Buying under only 1 owner for a property so that the spouse can buy another under their own name

This is the most straightforward way to have two properties in the family.